Patricia Volonakis Davis, award-winning author and the editor-in-chief of the online publication Harlots’ Sauce Radio, is a talented wordsmith and an inspiration to aspiring writers around the world. She decided that 2011 would be her “year to be daring,” and thus, has embarked on a brand new adventure – president of Harper Davis Publishers.
The company was actually created in part, due to her first book, Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece, when the founders read her book and two others, and loved them so much they wanted to see them in print. They had ambitious plans to publish other new titles, but then the president resigned for personal reasons. Never one to shy away from an opportunity, Volonakis Davis stepped up to the plate. The author spoke to Greek Reporter about her new adventure.
Why did you want to take over Harper Davis?
I’ve always enjoyed the many aspects of publishing, not just the writing of my own words. I enjoy helping new writers, discovering new authors; I love coaching authors on how to market their work, and love working with booksellers. Plus, I’ll always be grateful to Harper Davis Publishers for the opportunity it gave me to see my first book in print. For all these reasons, I decided to give it a go.
What are your plans?
I have a vision for this company that I never would have imagined I’d want to see instituted until I started on the road to having my first book published back in 2007. In the same way that I worked for Scholastic in Greece (a successful career in the mid-1990s) and saw all the possibilities there – where other people only saw problems – I see the same again here with publishing in general.
What needs to change in publishing?
There’s so much involved with why things aren’t working, and a good portion has to do with myopia and reaction motivated by self-interest in too many, from the publishers to the writers. Often when any industry change is imminent – talking pictures, video cassette players, copy-able CDs, print-on-demand publishing, just to name some – and people working in that industry recognize that they will be affected by that change, their first instinct is to stop it, rather than to think, ‘How can I utilize this to my advantage?’
I’ve come up with some ways which I think will help writers, publishers, booksellers, and I want to try them out. Many say that the publishing industry is imploding, but it doesn’t have to be that way, if all people in the industry would use their imaginations and be willing to be work a little differently than they’re used to. I’m excited to launch a new publishing model and turn this publishing house into a model of innovation, one that will benefit the entire industry – author, bookseller and publisher. We hope to become an inspiration for other publishers.
Are you the “Davis” in Harper Davis?
It’s funny – Davis is such a common name in the publishing industry. When people learned who published my first book, they’d always asked if I was the ‘Davis’ in Harper Davis, and I’d reply, ‘No.’ Now I guess I can say, ‘Yep – that’s me!’
You have a new book coming out soon.
The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman Needs to Know, will be available in May 2011 from Cedar Fort Press. The book came about due to a blog post I wrote, based on advice I’d give to my younger self. Within a week, it became an Internet sensation, and was reposted by countless other blogs. It also caught the attention of the book’s publishers, who asked me to expand it into a full-length book.